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Joan Carter and Ivy Reeds (1924-2016)

by janet on 8 December 2011 · 6 comments

Joan Carter (born 1920) and Ivy Reeds (born 1924) took part in the Walkern Memories: 935 Years project and exhibition, having their memories of Walkern recorded by Janet Woodall and their photo taken by local photographer Rod Shone, on 4 July 2007. This transcription first appeared in the March 2008 issue of the Walkern Journal.

Joan Carter, left and Ivy Reed. Photo by Rod Shone

Joan: I was born in Forest Gate in London but came here from South End when my parents took over the Yew Tree. My maiden name was Bish. Harry Bish was my father. They had the Yew Tree for 28 years I think. I married a local boy, a builder, Herbert Carter. They were an old Walkern family

Ivy: My husband, Frank, was a butcher. He was at the butchers in Walkern for 44 years. Neither of us were born in Walkern, I was born in Ware but grew up in Graveley and my husband came from Weston. I was in my early 20s when I arrived in Walkern.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

John Brooks March 8, 2015 at 10:58 pm

Just spent a very enjoyable hour reading through Walkern Memories and thought I’d add my name to those who did a round for the High Street butchers. I’m sure it was Shepherds Butchers in my day and was run by Dennis Streeter and Frank Reeds. Anyway I did my stint on that big old bike around the village for about a year until some jobsworth inspector stepped in and said that I had to be thirteen to work on a weekend. I remember being knocked off the bike on one occasion by Fred Wrights dog and spilling all the meat into his gravel drive. Nothing daunted, I delivered Fred’s meat and then went and washed the rest in the stream by the mill.
I smiled at so many names from the past in the Memories, Trucky Edwards, Lurcher Parker and Harry Bish etc. I remember Alice Bish well too. Her reply to “would you like a drink Alice?”, was always “I’ll just have a bobsworth mate”, which was Alice’s own version of a drop of whisky, and of course there was Harry’s “All the Jollies”, which could be used as a greeting, a farewell or a thank you. I don’t think I’ve ever heard it in all the years since I left Walkern.


Heather Sheppard December 15, 2014 at 10:55 pm

I was interested to read the above. My grandparents, Harold and Harriet Sheppard lived at Walkernbury Farm. When I was a little girl my Uncle Jack and Auntie Joan lived at Walkernbury and Granny and Grandad lived in a house near the church. My late parents, Frank and Cynthia Sheppard, lived in Briar Cottage before moving to Lilley. I now live in Norfolk but used to enjoy visiting the church and walking around the village.


Polly Macmillan (Pauline) April 29, 2013 at 6:11 pm

I remember playing in the slaughter house with Garry and Clive Reeds. There was a huge hook in the ceiling and slate on the floor. I can still remember the smell, it was peppery! Meat tasted like meat in those days! I think my brother Nigel had a butchers round too. Mr Reeds called everyone ‘Old ‘ern’. He and Ivy were very good friends to my parents, Joyce and Vic Swain.


Tom McCall April 8, 2013 at 8:06 am

Hi Ann

My mum Wendy McCall (nee Beadle) took over the butchers round from you. She can remember the bike with the large basket on the front and the meat wrapped in paper with the names of who had bought it attached to spikes pressed into the meat. Also with a lot of weight on the front of the bike, it tipping over on more than one occasion and the names would all fall off the meat and get mixed up!


Ann Muncey March 3, 2013 at 1:26 am

I was the first and only Butcher girl in Walkern and on Saturdays would deliver to the locals there order of meat. Frank was always joking and laughing and would show me how to cut the side of beef and also mince down the beef. To this day now that I am 60 I would still like to be a butcher.



Don Swain August 23, 2012 at 7:59 pm

I knew Frank & Ivy Reeds very well they lived next door to my brother Vic and his wife Joyce in Totts Lane and when they moved within the village they remained good friends and together with Dennis & Joyce Pettit they met regulary to play cards even when Vic & Joyce moved to Hitchin. Vic and Frank played cricket for Walkern in the late forties I used to take scores at first
then played when they were short ,other senior players I can remember were Ted Collis,John Sworder,Norman & Jack Sheppard with younger members Brian & Terry Waldock (later Phil also) Malcolm Hancock, Gudger Carter,Ginger Collins to name a few. Frank was known for hitting enormous sixes he was very strong in the arm probably due to lifting sides of Beef !! Vic was a feerless wicket keeper and he also kept goal for Walkern F.C.


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